Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Prove You’re Not a Terrorist

By Jeff Thomas

Recently, France decided to crack down on those people who make cash payments and withdrawals and who hold small bank accounts. The reason given was, not surprisingly, to “fight terrorism,” the handy catchall justification for any new restriction governments wish to impose on their citizens. French Finance Minister Michel Sapin stated at the time, “terrorism feeds on fraud, money laundering, and petty trafficking.”

And so, in future, people in France will not be allowed to make cash payments exceeding €1,000 (down from €3,000). Additionally, cash deposits and withdrawals totaling more than €10,000 per month will be reported to Tracfin—an anti-fraud and money laundering agency. Currency exchange will also be further restricted. Anyone changing over €1,000 to another currency (down from €8,000) will be required to show an identity card.

Do you need to make a deposit on a car? That might be suspect. Did you just deposit a dividend you received? It might be a payment from a terrorist organisation. Planning a holiday and need some cash? You might need to be investigated for terrorism. And France is not alone. In the US, federal law requires banks to file a “suspicious activity report” (SAR) on their customers whenever a customer requests a suspicious transaction. (In 2013, 1.6 million SAR’s were submitted.)

As to what may be deemed “suspicious,” it may be any transaction of $5,000 or more, but it may also mean a series of transactions that, together, exceed $5,000. The reader may be saying to himself, “But that’s just normal, everyday banking business—that means anybody, any time, could be reported.” If so, he would be correct. Essentially, any banking activity the reader conducts could be regarded as suspect.

In Italy, in 2011, Prime Minister Mario Monti began working to end the right of landlords, tradesmen, and small businesses to perform large transactions in cash, which critics say help them evade taxation. In December of that year, his government reduced the maximum allowed cash payment from €2,500 euros to €1,000.

Spain has outlawed cash transactions over €2,500. The justification? “To crack down on the black market and tax evaders.”

In Sweden, the country where the first banknote was created in 1661, the use of cash is being steadily eliminated. Increasingly, expenses are paid and purchases made by cellphone text message, and many banks have stopped handling cash altogether.

Denmark’s central bank, Nationalbanken, has another justification for ending its use of banknotes—producing paper money and coinage is not cost effective.

Israel also seeks to end the use of cash. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff has announced a three phase plan to “all but do away with cash transactions in Israel.”

Individuals and businesses would initially continue to be allowed to make small cash transactions, but eventually, all transactions would be converted to electronic forms of payment. The justification being used in Israel is that “cash is bad,” because it encourages an underground economy and enables tax evasion.

Across the Atlantic, banks and governments are on a similar campaign. A 2012 law in Mexico bans large cash transactions, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

In August 2014, Uruguay passed the Financial Inclusion Law, which limits cash transactions to US$5,000. In future, all transactions over that amount will be required to be performed electronically. The crying need for such a law? The stated reason was to improve the country’s credit ratings.

The Elimination of Paper Currency

In recent years, in commenting on the inevitability of currency collapse in those countries that are indebted beyond the possibility of repayment, I’ve made the prediction that governments and banks would jointly resort to the elimination of paper currency and replace it with an electronic one.

Some readers have understandably regarded the prediction as “alarmist.” After all, the idea is so farfetched—paper currency may be conceptually flawed, but it’s been around for a long time. But banks and governments seek total control of money, and this can only be achieved if they possess a monopoly on the flow of money.

If a worldwide system can be implemented in which currency transactions can only take place electronically through banking institutions, the banks will then have total power over the ability of a people to function economically. But why would any government allow the banks such dictatorial monetary control? The answer is that governments would then realise a long held, but heretofore impossible dream: to have access to a record of every monetary transaction that takes place for every single individual.

Governments have been both more proactive and bolder than I had anticipated and are simply imposing the restrictions worldwide under the justifications previously stated. As yet, there hasn’t been any backlash, and it may be that people worldwide may simply swallow the pill, not understanding what it means to their economic liberty.

If the public are not treating the new system as serious business, governments most assuredly are. Bankers on both sides of the Atlantic have forcibly become unpaid government spies. If they don’t comply, they can be fined and/or lose their banking charter. Directors can be imprisoned.

The US Justice Department already wants to take this overreach even further. Banks are now being asked to call the authorities whenever something “suspicious” occurs, presumably so that immediate action may be taken. What we are witnessing is the creation of totalitarian control of your finances. The implication that you may have some sort of terrorist involvement is a smokescreen.

As the above information attests, if for any reason you object to any of these measures, you have already been forewarned—you may be suspected of money laundering, tax evasion, or even terrorism. If you use cash for any reason—to pay your rent, to buy a used car, or (soon) to pay for your lunch—you may trigger an investigation. (The onus of proof that you are not guilty good will be on you.)

The take away from this discussion? Totalitarian control of currency is an inevitability, and it will take place sooner rather than later. The only question is whether the reader can retain some control of his wealth. Fortunately, wealth may still be held in land and precious metals, but these are only safe if they’re held outside a country that seeks totalitarian rule over its people. The ability to retain wealth still exists and, as always, internationalisation remains a key element to its continuation.

Editor’s Note: The ultimate way to diversify your savings internationally is to transfer it out of the immediate reach of your home government. And we've put together an in depth video presentation to help you do just that. It's called, "Internationalizing Your Assets."

Our all star panel of experts, with Doug Casey and Peter Schiff, provide low cost options for international diversification that anyone can implement - including how to safely set up foreign storage for your gold and silver bullion and how to move your savings abroad without triggering invasive reporting requirements. This is a must watch video for any investor and it's completely free.

Click here to watch Internationalizing Your Assets right now.

The article was originally published at internationalman.com


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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mike Seerys Weekly Natural Gas Futures Recap

Our trading partner Michael Seery is back with his weekly recap of the Futures market. He has been a senior analyst for close to 15 years and has extensive knowledge of all of the commodity and option markets.

Natural gas futures in the June contract settled last Friday at 2.68 while currently trading at 2.56 down around 12 points for the trading week as I have been recommending a short position in the last several weeks as this trade has basically gone sideways to slightly lower and if you took the original recommendation place your stop loss above the 10 day high which currently stands at 2.73 risking around 17 points or $425 per mini contract plus slippage and commission and if you are trading the March contract the risk would be $1,700 plus slippage and commission as the chart structure is outstanding at the current time.

Here's more calls from Mike on Oats. gold, corn, wheat, soybeans and more!

Many of the commodity markets were lower this afternoon, however average temperatures in the Midwestern part of the United States are dragging natural gas prices lower with the next major resistance around 2.50 so continue to play this to the downside and take advantage of any rallies as the chart structure is outstanding allowing you to place a very tight stop therefore lowering monetary risk as prices are still trading below their 20 and 100 day moving average telling you that the trend is to the downside as prices closed at the weekly low.
Trend: Lower
Chart Structure: Excellent

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Here's Why Gold Will Be Priceless in Three to Five Years

Over the next few years as debt, currencies and countries start to fall apart and individuals will be looking to place their money where it will hold its value and buying power during times of extreme uncertainty.

If you eliminate fiat currencies which are created out of this air and are nothing more than a credit we are left with precious metals and stones. As much as we have evolved over time, we could be valuing things like gold, silver, platinum, and precious stones more so than our currency.

Let’s face it, currencies are swinging in value 20-50% regularly and while most people do not realize it their buying power often is not as strong as it was. Would you rather hold a large portion of your capital in say the EURO which is falling like a rock in value costing you thousands of dollars a month, or would gold and silver which rises in value as your currency falls be a smarter decision?

Click Here to Read Chris Vermeulen's entire article and charts





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Monday, April 20, 2015

This Weeks Free Webinar...Trading Options the Same Way as the Institutional Traders

Our trading partner Guy Cohen of OVI Flag Traders is finally free from his contract obligations with his large institutional clients and he is back with us for another free training webinar this Thursday April 23rd.

Guy's latest indicator and methods will give us all a unique and valuable insight to what the insiders are up to. The truth is, no one can predict 100% where the markets are going at any given time, but he has developed something that can give us a better clue, especially during certain market setups.

And frankly, that's all we need to become consistently great traders and investors. You can stick with just one inspired method like this and you'll not only be profitable but you will do it safely.

On This Webinar You Will Discover.....

  *  How one of Guy's students made huge profits in just three short months trading this one specific strategy

  *  Learn how to master Options regardless of which direction the market is moving

  *  Learn Guy's simple strategies to consistent income

  *  How to grow a small account with powerful and safe options strategies to use the right
      leverage at the right time

  *  How to recognize and capitalize on the best patterns right now in the market.

And so much more!

Watch this weeks free video to get even more details about what we will cover in this free webinar....
Just Click Here to Watch the Free Video

In an attempt to make sure everybody gets a seat Guy will be doing two complete live presentations on Thursday at 2 p.m. est and 8 p.m. est.

These two webinars will fill to capacity quickly as Click Here to get Your Reserved Seat asap

See you on Thursday!
Ray C. Parrish
aka the Crude Oil Trader

P.S.  While you are waiting for this weeks webinar take a minute to download Guy's free eBook and start learning some of his methods traders have been using for years.....Get Free eBook Here


Friday, April 17, 2015

Mike Seery: What is the Difference Between Old Crop & New Crop in the Agricultural Commodities?

When analysts and traders talk about agricultural commodities such as soybeans & corn the one thing they generally mention is old crop versus new crop and that might confuse some beginners on what exactly is the difference. I will keep it simple because the only difference between old crop and new crop is that old crop in soybeans is any month other than November as an example is March or May and all months that were grown last year while the new crop is the November soybeans and will be harvested this October of 2015 and will be grown this summer.

That’s why sometimes there is a price difference between the old crop and the new crop because of the fact that this year’s harvest in soybeans could be as high as 4.2 billion bushels pushing prices lower in the November contract as old crop and new crop can also have different carryover levels or supply levels.

Have you downloaded Guy Cohens new free eBook "Options for Earnings and Income".....Just Click Here

Old crop corn is any month other than the December contract while the new crop is only the December contract which will be grown this summer and harvested in October and sometimes there’s a price difference between old crop and new crop as well because as we will be harvesting around 13.5 billion bushels in October which is the reason why the December corn can be lower than the May corn because that was old crop which was harvested last October also having different supply situations.

Many of the agricultural commodities are affected by old crop & new crop including the grains, meats, coffee, and cotton so if you need help understanding which month you should be trading feel free to give me a call at any time & I will be more than happy to make sure that you are trading the correct month.

Get this weeks calls on commodities from Mike Seery....Just Click Here!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

An Insight into What Institutions Get When They Pay Top Dollar

Our trading partner and one of the industry’s most respected traders, Guy Cohen of the OVI Flag Trader, has released a new eBook that you must download and read. Guy is truly the experts’ expert when it comes to options. Over the last 13 years Guy has licensed this proprietary research to institutional clients including the NYSE, the ISE and several brokers.

Fortunately for you his obligations are fulfilled, and he’s now available for the first time in many years to show you his completely unique approach to options.

To celebrate his availability, I asked him to share some of his pearls of wisdom with my valued subscribers. I was just in time because Guy is also contracted to one of his publishers for a new edition of one of his bestsellers. So for starters, he’s written a brand new eBook showing you his uniquely simple approach that you can start implementing immediately. And we have the pleasure of sharing it with you today!

Grab Your Copy Here

In this publication you will learn how to.....

 *  Trade volatility around news events such as earnings (I love this section)
 *  Match the right options strategy with the appropriate chart setup (crucial for all options traders)
 *  Understand the Greeks in seconds (I kid you not...Guy’s approach to this is utterly unique)
 *  Trade for income with full illustrated examples (and I know there’s more to come) and much more.


If you’re interested in trading options at the highest level, from the industry’s leading expert, you will want to grab your copy NOW!

Guy has an uncanny ability to demystify and simplify options, which is why he’s a four time best selling author, and this is exactly what this new eBook will do for you and more.

See you in the markets putting this to work!
Ray C. Parrish
aka the Crude Oil Trader

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Our Next Call....Own this Sleeper Stock Before April 30th

We just got word from our trading partners at the International Speculator. Their message? "Own this sleeper stock that's running through April". The metals sector research team believes this will be the next high grade gold producer. If you want to make a fortune in the resource sector, all you need to know are the two times you should buy gold stocks.

The first: Invest in a gold mining company just before it makes a tremendous discovery.

Obviously, this is a daunting task. And without hands-on experience or a field research, you’d have better odds at winning roulette.

The second: Buy shares of a gold mining company just before it starts producing.

When a mining company announces its “First Gold Pour” is usually the only time it makes headlines, outside of a discovery. From that day forward, it’s a cash generating producer… and the value is no longer trapped in the rocks. That’s when the big money institutional investors take interest. Once they pile in, shares move very quickly.

Of course, there are very few new gold mines opening up in the world at any given time. So these opportunities are quite rare. But today, you have the chance to jump on one. We have found a deeply undervalued mining company with a high grade deposit 8x richer than the average mine.

Today, shares are cheap. But it’s scheduled to start pouring gold for the first time very soon—after that, shares could soar. In fact, Louis James, the chief metals and mining investment strategist at Case Research, believes this company could at least double in value.

But only investors who act before April 30 will have the chance to realize these gains.

Click here for all the details of this incredible opportunity

See you in the markets!
Ray C. Parrish
aka the Crude Oil Trader


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Friday, April 10, 2015

This Weeks Free Webinar....How to Find High Probability Earnings Trades

Our trading partner John Carter of Simpler Options is back with another one of his wildly popular free webinars. This time around it's "How to Find High Probability Earnings Trades"......Register Now

This free webinar will be held this Tuesday April 14th at 8 p.m. eastern time.

In this webinar John will discuss......

  *  Why earnings announcements offer a quarterly opportunity you may want to take off from work for
  *  Why playing big price movement is not the only way to trade around earnings
  *  How to plan around earnings season each quarter so you’re not caught by surprise
  *  How to avoid the common mistake traders make around earnings
  *  The simple way to know which options to trade around earnings so you never pick the wrong one

And much more…..

Don’t worry, if you can’t attend live. We’ll send you a link to the recorded webinar within 24-48 hours. But you must pre-register for the event.

Just Click Here to Complete Registration

See you Tuesday,
Ray C. Parrish
aka the Crude Oil Trader


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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Central Banks, Credit Expansion, and the Importance of Being Impatient

By John Mauldin 

We live in a time of unprecedented financial repression. As I have continued writing about this, I have become increasingly angry about the fact that central banks almost everywhere have decided to address the economic woes of the world by driving down the returns on the savings of those who can least afford it – retirees and pensioners.

This week’s Outside the Box, from my good friend Chris Whalen of Kroll Bond Rating Agency, goes farther and outlines how a low-interest-rate and massive QE environment is also destructive of other parts of the economy. Counterintuitively, the policies pursued by central banks are actually driving the deflationary environment rather than fighting it.

Make sure to watch todays featured video "The Whale Trade".....Just Click Here to Watch

This is a short but very powerful Outside the Box. And to further Chris’s point I want to share with you a graph that he sent me, from a later essay he wrote. It shows that the cost of funds for US banks has dropped over $100 billion since the financial crisis, but their net interest income is almost exactly the same. What changed? Banks are now paying you and me and businesses $100 billion less. The Fed’s interest rate policy has meant a great deal less income for US savers.


It is of the highest irony that Keynesians wanted to launch a QE policy that would increase the value of financial assets (like stocks), which they claimed would produce a wealth effect. I made fun of this policy some five years ago by calling it “trickle-down monetary policy.” Subsequent research has verified that there is no wealth effect from QE. Well, it did make our stocks go up, on the backs of savers. We’ve transferred interest income from savers into the stock market. We’ve made retirement far riskier for our older pensioners than it should be.

As Chris writes:
Indeed, in the present interest rate environment, to paraphrase John Dizard of the Financial Times, it has become mathematically impossible for fiduciaries [brokers, investment advisors and managers of pension funds and annuities] to meet the beneficiaries’ future investment return target needs through the prudent buying of securities.

Everywhere I go I talk with investment advisors and brokers who are scratching their heads trying to figure out how to create retirement portfolios that provide sufficient income without significantly moving out the risk curve at precisely the wrong time in their client’s lives. It is a conundrum that has been made for more difficult by Federal Reserve policy.

Economics Professor Larry Kotlikoff (Boston University) and our mutual friend syndicated financial columnist Scott Burns came by to visit me last week. I have talked with Larry on and off over the last few years, and Scott and I go back literally decades. A few years ago, Scott and Larry wrote a very good book called The Clash of Generations. Now, Larry has branched off on his own and written a really powerful manual on Social Security called Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security.

I will admit I have not paid much attention to Social Security. I just assumed I should start mine when I’m 70, as so many columns I have read suggested. Larry and I recently spent an hour discussing the Social Security system (or perhaps it would be better to call it the Social Security Maze). Three thousand pages of law and tens of thousands of regulations and so many nuances and “gotchas” that it is really difficult to understand what might be best in your particular circumstances. Larry asked me questions for about two minutes and then proceeded to make me $40,000 over the next five years. It turns out I qualify for an obscure (at least to me) regulation that allows me to get some Social Security income for four years prior to turning 70 without affecting my post-70 benefits. There are scores of such obscure rules.

Larry says it is more often the case than not that he can sit down with somebody and make them more money than they thought they were going to get.

As one reviewer says:
This book is necessary for three reasons: Social Security is not intuitive, and sometimes makes no sense at all. Two, Americans act against their best interests, leaving all kinds of money on the table. Three, there is usually a “however” with Social Security rules. Worse, Social Security is now up to three million requests every week, but Congress keeps cutting back budget, staff, hours and whole offices. Combine that with the complexity factor, and the authors conclude you cannot trust what Social Security advises. Great.

If you or your parents are on Social Security or you are approaching “that age,” you really should get this book. Did you know that if you are divorced you can get a check for half of your former spouse’s Social Security income without affecting their income at all? But you can’t know whether this is a good strategy unless you look at other options.

How many retirees or those nearing retirement know about such Social Security options as file and suspend (apply for benefits and then don’t take them)? Or start stop start (start benefits, stop them, then restart them)? Or– just as important – when and how to use these techniques? Get What’s Yours covers the most frequent benefit scenarios faced by married retired couples, by divorced retirees, by widows and widowers, among others. It explains what to do if you’re a retired parent of dependent children, disabled, or an eligible beneficiary who continues to work, and how to plan wisely before retirement. It addresses the tax consequences of your choices, as well as the financial implications for other investments.

The book is written in Larry’s usual easy to read style, and you can jump to the sections that might be most relevant to you. The book is $11 on Kindle and under $15 at Amazon. This might be some of the better financial advice that you get from reading my letter: go get a copy of Get What’s Yours.

I can’t guarantee it will make you $40,000 in five minutes, but it can show you how to navigate the system. Larry also has a website with some inexpensive software to help you maximize your own Social Security. Seeing as how Social Security is the largest source of income for most US retirees, this is something everyone should pay attention to.

It is time to hit the send button. Quickly, we finalized the agenda for the 2015 Strategic Investment Conference. You can see it by clicking on the link. Then go ahead and register before the price goes up. This really is the best economic conference that I know of anywhere this year.

Your wondering how long they’ll pay me Social Security analyst,
John Mauldin, Editor

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Central Banks, Credit Expansion, and the Importance of Being Impatient

This research note is based on the presentation given by Christopher Whalen, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) Senior Managing Director and Head of Research, at the Banque de France on Monday, March 23, 2015, for an event organized by the Global Interdependence Center (GIC) entitled New Policies for the Post Crisis Era.” KBRA is pleased to be a sponsor of the GIC.


Summary

Investors are keenly focused on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to see whether the U.S. central bank is prepared to raise interest rates later this year – or next. The attention of the markets has been focused on a single word, “patience,” which has been a key indicator of whether the Fed is going to shift policy after nearly 15 years of maintaining extraordinarily low interest rates. This week, the Fed dropped the word “patience” from its written policy guidance, but KBRA does not believe that the rhetorical change will be meaningful to fixed income investors. We do not expect that the Fed will attempt to raise interest rates for the balance of 2015.

This long anticipated shift in policy guidance by the Fed comes even as interest rates in the EU are negative and the European Central Bank has begun to buy securities in open market operations mimicking those conducted by the FOMC over the past several years. Investors and markets need to appreciate that, regardless of what the FOMC decides this month or next, the global economy continues to suffer from the effects of the financial excesses of the 2000s.

The decision by the ECB to finally begin U.S. style “quantitative easing” (QE) almost eight years after the start of the subprime financial crisis in 2007 speaks directly to the failure of policy to address both the causes and the terrible effects of the financial crisis. Consider several points:
  • QE by the ECB must be seen in the context of a decade long period of abnormally low interest rates. U.S. interest rate policy has been essentially unchanged since 2001, when interest rates were cut following the 9/11 attack. The addition of QE 1-3 was an effort at further monetary stimulus beyond zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) meant to boost asset prices and thereby change investor tolerance for risk.
     
  • QE makes sense only from a Keynesian/socialist perspective, however, and ignores the long-term cost of low interest rate policies to individual investors and financial institutions. Indeed, in the present interest rate environment, to paraphrase John Dizard of the Financial Times, it has become mathematically impossible for fiduciaries to meet the beneficiaries’ future investment return target needs through the prudent buying of securities. (See John Dizard, “Embrace the contradictions of QE and sell all the good stuff,” Financial Times, March 14, 2015.)
     
  • The downside of QE in the U.S. and EU is that it does not address the core problems of hidden off- balance sheet debt that caused the massive “run on liquidity” in 2008. That is, banks and markets in the U.S. globally face tens of trillions of dollars in "off-balance sheet" debt that has not been resolved. The bad debt which is visible on the books of U.S. and EU banks is also a burden in the sense that bank managers know that it must eventually be resolved. Whether we talk of loans by German banks to Greece or home equity loans in the U.S. for homes that are underwater on the first mortgage, bad debt is a drag on economic growth.
     
  • Despite the fact that many of these debts are uncollectible, governments in the U.S. and EU refuse to restructure because doing so implies capital losses for banks and further expenses for cash- strapped governments. In effect, the Fed and ECB have decided to address the issue of debt by slowly confiscating value from investors via negative rates, this because the fiscal authorities in the respective industrial nations cannot or will not address the problem directly.
     
  • ZIRP and QE as practiced by the Fed and ECB are not boosting, but instead depressing, private sector economic activity. By using bank reserves to acquire government and agency securities, the FOMC has actually been retarding private economic growth, even while pushing up the prices of financial assets around the world.
     
  • ZIRP has reduced the cost of funds for the $15 trillion asset U.S. banking system from roughly half a trillion dollars annually to less than $50 billion in 2014. This decrease in the interest expense for banks comes directly out of the pockets of savers and financial institutions. While the Fed pays banks 25bp for their reserve deposits, the remaining spread earned on the Fed’s massive securities portfolio is transferred to the U.S. Treasury – a policy that does nothing to support credit creation or growth. The income taken from bond investors due to ZIRP and QE is far larger.
     
  • No matter how low interest rates go and how much debt central banks buy, the fact of financial repression where savers are penalized to advantage debtors has an overall deflationary impact on the global economy. Without a commensurate increase in national income, the elevated asset prices resulting from ZIRP and QE cannot be validated and sustained. Thus with the end of QE in the U.S. and the possibility of higher interest rates, global investors face the decline of valuations for both debt and equity securities.
     
  • In opposition to the intended goal of low interest rate and QE policies, we also have a regressive framework of regulations and higher bank capital requirements via Basel III and other policies that are actually limiting the leverage of the global financial system. The fact that banks cannot or will not lend to many parts of society because of harsh new financial regulations only exacerbates the impact of financial repression. Thus we take income from savers to advantage debtors, while limiting credit to society as a whole. Only large private corporations and government sponsored enterprises with access to equally large banks and global capital markets are able to function and grow in this environment.
So what is to be done? KBRA believes that the FOMC and policy makers in the U.S. and EU need to refocus their efforts on first addressing the issue of excessive debt and secondly rebalancing fiscal policies so as to boost private sector economic activity. Low or even negative interest rate policies which punish savers in order to pretend that bad debts are actually good are only making things worse and accelerate global deflation. Around the globe, nations from China to Brazil and Greece are all feeling the adverse effects of excessive debt and the related decline in commodity prices and overall economic activity. This decline, in turn, is being felt via lower prices for both commodities and traded goods – that is, deflation.

In the U.S., sectors such as housing and energy, the effects of weak consumer activity and oversupply are combining into a perfect storm of deflation. For example, The Atlanta Fed forecast for real GDP has been falling steadily as the underlying Blue Chip economic forecasts have also declined. The drop in capital expenditures related to oil and gas have resulted in a sharp decline in related economic activity and employment. Falling prices for oil and other key industrial commodities, weak private sector credit creation, falling transaction volumes in the U.S. housing sector, and other macroeconomic indicators all suggest that economic growth remains quite fragile.

To deal with this dangerous situation, the FOMC should move to gradually increase interest rates to restore cash flow to the financial system, following the famous dictum of Adam Smith that the “Great Wheel” of circulation is the means by which the flow of goods and services moves through the economy: “The great wheel of circulation is altogether different from the goods which are circulated by means of it. The revenue of the society consists altogether in those goods, and not in the wheel which circulates them” (Smith 1811: 202).

Increased regulation and a decrease in the effective leverage in many sectors of banking and commerce have contributed to a slowing of credit creation and economic activity overall. And most importantly, the issue of unresolved debt, on and off balance sheet, remains a dead weight retarding economic growth. For this reason, KBRA believes that investors ought to become impatient with policy makers and encourage new approaches to boosting economic growth.

Related Publications:

Analytical Contact: Christopher Whalen, Senior Managing Director cwhalen@kbra.com, (646) 731-2366
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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mike Seerys Weekly Crude Oil, Gold, Silver and Coffee Market Summary

We've asked our trading partner Michael Seery to give our readers a weekly recap of the futures market. He has been a senior analyst for close to 15 years and has extensive knowledge of all of the commodity and option markets.

Here's Mikes call on crude oil, gold and silver. Read more of his calls for this week by visiting here.

Crude oil futures in the May contract are down $1.00 this Thursday afternoon currently trading at 49.00 a barrel after closing last Friday at 40.87 basically unchanged for the trading week with very volatile trading sessions including yesterday when prices were up about $3 dollars as I’m still sitting on the sidelines in this market as the trend remains mixed and very choppy. Crude oil futures have been consolidating between $45 – $55 for the last three months after falling out of bed from around $90 a barrel to around $45 and that doesn’t surprise me as we could see sideways action for several more months to come so be patient and look at another market that’s currently trending.

If you take a look at the daily chart there’s a possible double bottom being created around the $45 level and if you are bullish this market and think prices have bottomed I would probably take a shot at today’s price level while placing my stop loss below $45 risking around $4,000 per contract plus slippage and commission, however like I stated I’m currently waiting for a true breakout to occur. Traders are awaiting tomorrow’s monthly unemployment number, however markets will be closed so the reaction will happen on Sunday night and that will send high volatility into the market as expectations are 244,000 new jobs added as a stronger economy certainly creates stronger demand for gasoline and crude oil.
Trend: Mixed
Chart Structure: Solid

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Gold futures in the June contract are down $11 this Thursday afternoon in New York trading at 1,197 an ounce basically unchanged for the trading week as investors are awaiting tomorrow’s monthly appointment number which should send high volatility into this market as prices have rallied about $60 over the last three weeks as profit-taking ensued in today’s trading action. Gold futures are trading above their 20 day but still below their 100 day moving average telling you that the trend is mixed as I’m sitting on the sidelines waiting for better chart structure to develop as tomorrows trade should be very interesting.

Estimates are around 244,000 new jobs added so any number higher than that will probably send gold prices sharply lower as that might in turn tell the Federal Reserve that interest rates might have to be raised sooner rather than later. The next major resistance in gold prices is at 1,220 as that’s the true breakout to the upside in my opinion, however the chart structure remains poor at the current time so wait for a tighter trading range to develop allowing you to place your stop loss minimizing risk as much as possible and try to stick with trades that are trending as this market remains very choppy so avoid gold at the current time.
Trend: Mixed
Chart structure: Poor

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Silver futures in the May contract settled last Friday at 17.07 an ounce while currently trading at 16.85 on this holiday shortened week due to the Good Friday holiday tomorrow the markets will be closed finishing down around 20 cents for the trading week still hovering near a 6 week high. Silver futures are trading below their 20 and 100 day moving average as I have been sitting on the sidelines in this market as the chart structure is poor at the current time, however if you are bullish silver prices and think prices have bottomed my recommendation would be to buy at today’s price while placing your stop loss at the 10 day low which currently stands at 16.47 risking about $.40 or $400 per mini contract plus slippage and commission.

Volatility in silver and the precious metals as a whole has come back as weakness in the S&P 500 is starting to put money back into the precious metals in the short term as the U.S dollar has been consolidating their recent run up as I still see choppiness ahead in silver as I’m waiting for a better chart pattern and tighter chart structure to develop therefore allowing you to place a tighter stop loss minimizing monetary risk. TREND: HIGHER
CHART STRUCTURE: POOR

Coffee futures in the May contract are currently trading up 300 points at 137.80 a pound basically finishing unchanged for the trading week as volatility remains high despite the fact that prices remain in an extremely tight trading range over the last four weeks between 130 – 145 as a breakout is looming in my opinion as I’m currently sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to develop.

If you have been following my previous blogs I have very few recommendations at the current time as many of the commodity markets are consolidating in the sideways pattern just like the coffee market as a breakout will not occur until prices break above 145 or below 130 as we start to enter the frost season in Brazil which can occur in May and June like it did in 1994 sending prices from 60 all the way up to around 260 in a matter of weeks.

In my opinion coffee prices are on the verge of a bottoming pattern and we might go sideways for quite some time so keep a close eye on this market as this sleeping giant will wake up once again. Coffee prices traded as high as 230 just 6 months ago dropping dramatically as excellent weather conditions persisted throughout the growing year in Brazil but that has already been priced into the market as volatility certainly will increase. Trend: Mixed
Chart structure: Excellent


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